In March 2010 we bought our first Motorhome, an Auto-Sleeper "Executive" and we have named it "MYRTLE" as we couldn't think of anything better. Then we took it to the Scottish Highlands.
Leaving Glencoe we took the "Road to the Isles" and headed up towards Mallaig, via Fort William and Arisaig. The route takes you past the Glenfinnan Monument. This marks the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie unfurled his proud red-and-white silk banner on August 19, 1745, in his ill-fated attempt to restore the Stuarts to the British throne.
Everyone told us, "You'll never see anything in Glen Glencoe, the weather is always raining and overcast". Well we had brilliant sunshine when we got there. Cuckoo's were in full song every day we were there. We were told to take the Loch Etive road by Alan Rowe, a friend of mine. It was a single track road with passing places, about 7 miles long, winding down from the top of Rannock Moor above Glen Glencoe, to Loch Etive down in the valley below, a stunning part of the world. We have "Wild Camped" here.
Skye and beyond
In 2012 we decided to do much more than we had done before, we went to Iona where the early Scottish Kings are buried. We camped on a nice site virtually on a beach and parked up with a super view across to Iona. At about midnight we had to get up and move the motorhome inland about 2 miles away from the gale that was rocking the boat. I've never driven in PJs before.
We took a boat trip from Portree on Skye looking for the White Tailed Sea Eagle, then up the west coast and around the top to the Castle of Mey, owned by the Queen Mother. Then down the east coast to Braemar, then on to see the "Royal Yacht" in Edinbough.
Having been to the Highlands the year before, our main destination this year was to the Isle of Mull. We were spending the first week on our own in Scotland, seeing places like Loch Ness, Dingwall, Ullapool, Melon Udrigle, Kyle of Lochalsh, Kinlochewe, Eileen Donan Castle etc, then meeting up with Richard and Ann on Mull. We did take the "High" pass to Applecross but we had to turn back when we reached the top as Stevie lost her bottle.
On the road to Mellon Udrigle, we did a very silly thing. We had been travelling for some time and were not too far from our destination, we stopped to buy some groceries from a small shop and found that we were rather short of "cash". The lady shopkeeper very kindly told us we had two options, their was a cash point at Ullerpool, or a cash point in Gairloch, both were 40 miles away in opposite directions.
Mull is a special place, the scenery is spectacular, the bird life is amazing, and the weather can be appalling, and fine all in the space of an hour. We intended on staying on Mull for three weeks but were forced further south due to bad weather. It was Richards birthday while we were on Mull and he treated us to lunch in "The Boathouse" Restaurant on the Isle of Ulva. We had to take a ferry to get there, the food was very good and we all had Langoustine and Lobster Salad.
The first night on Mull was spent on a site near the Fishnish ferry , and the next three nights were on a campsite right on the beach at Craignure. Whilst on Mull we saw Golden Eagles, White Tailed Sea Eagles, Gannet and more Herons than I have ever seen before. The bird life on Mull was amazing, but after 6 days on Mull the weather turned for the worse and we left for the mainland and headed south. It was good that we did as the ferries were cancelled and the bridges closed as soon as we got into England. We will return another year and go Whale Watching.
We left Devon on the 23rd April and called into Auto-Sleeper at Willesley in the Cotswolds. We were having new rubber surrounds on the two main windows in Myrtle, one window rubber had perished and was letting in rain water so we decided to have them both changed. But when we got there they didn't have the spare parts so we had to call in on the way home.
We stopped in Carlisle and visited a distant cousin who we also met in 2012. We stayed the night on a CS "Certificated Site" just outside of Carlisle right next to Hadrians Wall, so we went and had a walk along it. The following morning we headed for Loch Lomond for lunch. We took the "A83" towards Lochgilphead and our destination for the night was the Crinan Canal. We wild camped there in a car park overlooking the canal. Nice area, lots of boats.
We have wild camped in Glen Etive, and now we wanted to wild camp at the other end of the loch. I thought I would do a spot of fishing at the same time.
There is a pinch point in the loch where the water is fast running, there is also a jetty sticking out. This is where we headed for and there were people already fishing when we arrived. Some people were spinning, but others were fly fishing in the shallows. I tried my hand at spinning as I didn't have a fly rod. There was only one fish caught, and that was on fly.
We stayed on a campsite just outside Oban and it must have been a walled garden at one time. The sun was very hot that day and we went for a nice walk behind the campsite. On our way north we drove through Oban and it looked very nice, so we will return one day and take a longer look.
ARRIVED MAY 17th
We spent the best part of two weeks on Mull, our reason for the trip was to see EAGLES, and we saw plenty of them.
We wild camped at Lochbuie and Loch na Keel, we camped at Fiddan Farm at Fionnaphort but if was more that we wanted to pay so we wild camped for nothing. It doesn't get much better than waking up to an amazing view across a loch and it didn't cost a penny. To add to that the weather was very kind to us most of the time. The bird life on Mull is brilliant, we saw more that 25 Sea Eagles, 2 Golden Eagles, 1 Hen Harrier along with loads of more common birds.
On one occasion we had 5 Sea Eagles circling above us, on another day we had 2 Golden Eagles behind us and a Sea Eagle taking a fish from the loch in front of us.
We had a boat trip to Staffa, to see Fingles Cave and the Puffins. When I was getting of the boat the swell took the boat upwards and I fell onto the quay, I grazed my right shin rather badly and had to go to the hospital at Graignure to get it dressed 4 times in all.
Took lots of photos on Mull, but when I got home I found that the camera lens had a bad smear over it and all the shots were ruined.